Summer is officially still nearly two weeks away, but the hot, humid record-breaking weather has arrived early – as usual – in Chatham-Kent.
Wednesday saw temperatures soar to 34 C along with humidex and smog advisories in place making it feel like 41 C. According to the Weather Network’s website, this broke the 1999 high of 31 C for this date. Tuesday’s high of 34 C also broke the previous record of 33 C, set in 1999.
While many people sought relief in air conditioned spaces, in a backyard pool or at the beach, some didn’t have a choice but to work outside in the scorching heat.
A crew from MP Roofing & Siding were busy putting new shingles on the roof of a Maryknoll Road home in Chatham as the sun beat down.
Foreman Ken LaMarsh said the crew beats the heat with “lots of water, a little bit of shade, lots of breaks.”
Working in this kind of heat and humidity can be “treacherous,” he said, adding it is important to stay hydrated.
When asked if they will shorten the work day, LaMarsh said they will work until they “can’t handle it no more.” But he added, “it’s not very often we can’t handle it. We’re built for the job.”
LaMarsh said roofers are accustomed to working in the heat.
BFI Canada employees Bill Foster and Derek Harvey endured Wednesday’s hot, humid conditions while collecting trash around north Chatham.
Foster joked he beats the heat by making the other guy stay on the back of the truck while he drives. He said they usually do one-hour shifts picking up trash while the other person drives, but they switch every half-hour when it gets this hot.
When asked what’s like collecting trash in these conditions, Foster said: “It just beats you up.”
Harvey added, “it’s frustrating.”
He said it is important “to keep hydrated, drink lots of water and switch up (often).”
Foster said they also have to slow the pace down a little, which makes for a bit of a longer day.
“It’s an unfortunate side-effect, but you deal with it,” he said.
Keith Bonneau, who works for Al’s Lawn Care, spent the day cutting grass a large riding lawnmower with the engine right behind his seat.
“I just drink a lot of water and sometimes take a few minutes in the shade,” he said of how he handles the heat.
“It gets hot some days, but once you’re going it’s not bad because of the wind blowing it back,” he said of the heat from the engine.
Bonneau also wears a hat to help prevent getting sun burnt, or worse, skin cancer, he said.
Canada Post letter carrier Julie Collins looked relieved to have just finished her route for the day just before noon and was getting read to escape the heat.
She said the heat “makes you drag. It makes you real tired and you go a little bit slower.” Collins said many posties, including herself, freeze their water bottles before heading out on hot day to keep their water cold.
She added it is also important to try to stay in the shade as much as possible. However, Collins has a nice perk with her route. “I have a Dairy Queen on my walk so I’m lucky,” she said.
– Article taken from the Chatham Daily News